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Last Updated: Monday, 5 June 2006, 13:26 GMT 14:26 UK
Dragons sign Stewart & seven more
Shane Stewart (left)
Stewart is seen as a replacement for Haldane Luscombe
The Dragons have signed Ulster's Kiwi centre Shane Stewart, plus Australian hooker Ben Daly (Viadana) and Samoan back-rower Nic Fitisemanu (Nottingham).

They also confirmed signings of Aled Brew (Ospreys), Gareth Chapman (Newport RFC), Alix Walker (academy), Matt Jess and Joe Bearman (Cornish Pirates).

A tight-head prop, centre, fly-half and open-side flanker should follow soon.

Leigh Hinton is on the transfer list, ex-Wales prop Chris Anthony has retired and 16 other players been released.

The departures of Haldane Luscombe, Jon Bryant, Steve Winn, Ben Breeze, Sione Tuipulotu, Jason Forster, Richard Bryan and Rhys Oakley were already known.

Wing Will Kershaw-Naylor, full-back Ricky Williams, centre Richard Payne, lock Ben Thomson and flanker Chris Davies have been added to that list.

We have to attempt to create a change of culture through a continued increase in professional standards and an improving work ethic

Dragons coach Paul Turner

Hooker Andrew Brown, fly-half Dan Griffiths and back-rower Richard Dale have also been released but will take up contracts with Premier Division clubs.

"Although the limitations and constraints have been well documented in the past, it has always been my ambition to move this region forward," said Dragons coach Paul Turner.

"My belief is that we have to attempt to create a change of culture through a continued increase in professional standards and an improving work ethic.

"As head coach I have attempted to create the best possible environment to develop players both within the academy system and throughout the region generally.

"I believe we have gone some way to creating that environment but continued hard work within our organisation along with the influx of new players will further enhance the process.

"We will continue the development and fast tracking of members of the successful Wales Under-19 squad who are in the Dragons academy.

"Lewis Evans, Gareth Maule, Ashley Smith and Jamie Corsi have been given senior academy contracts, while academy scrum-half Alix Walker has been given a senior development contract.

"Other Principality Premiership players have emerged and been given a taste of regional rugby already this season.

"The likes of Scott Williams, Simon Hunt and Will Thomas will give the region a far greater strength in depth for the challenges that lie ahead next season."

SEE ALSO
BBC Wales Sport coverage
18 Sep 05 |  Wales
Transfer talk - Welsh regions
08 Jan 06 |  Welsh


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